Famed gossip columnist Liz Smith died on Sunday, November 12, at the age of 94. "It's your legend. You don't have to agree with everything said about you, but you can't really quarrel with the cumulative thing". Smith remained with the Post until she was let go in 2009; she continued writing her column, the syndication of which also continued, and the column appeared for a while in Daily Variety after the death of the paper's own legendary gossip columnist, Army Archerd, in 2009.
At one point Smith was hired by Fox to develop a talkshow that Roger Ailes would produce. "Liz passed away at the age of 94 and with her, a piece NY", said weather anchor Al Roker on Twitter.
Smith was a NY legend who developed and defined the job of the gossip columnist as well as the celebrity journalist. She was later poached by Newsday and was paid $500,000 to leave the Daily.
Born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1923, Smith arrived in New York City in 1949 after graduating the University of Texas, inspired by the likes of Walter Winchell and "the glamour and excitement of New York", she told the Times in a profile published earlier this year.
Known as the "Grand Dame of Dish", Smith began her journalism career as a CBS Radio news producer for Mike Wallace before starting as a ghostwriter for the Hearst gossip column Cholly Knickerbocker in the late 1950s. She cared deeply about illiteracy and raised about $37 million for Literacy Partners, which reportedly helped 27,000 people learn to read. I just never felt I was wife material.
Twice divorced, the Texas native came out as bisexual in her 2000 memoir "Natural Blonde" - something she dubbed "gender neutrality", according to the Daily News. "I didn't feel I had to do what he said".